‘World Relevance’: Why Japanese Post-War Art Matters – Talk by Ming Tiampo


In 1952, art critic Shuzo Takiguchi declared that Japanese artists should seek ‘world relevance’ with their work, encouraging an entire generation of artists to reject nationalism and engage in cultural dialogues of an international scope. Takiguchi’s comments were exemplary of a handful of post-war cultural leaders, including Gutai leader Jiro Yoshihara, who sought to create what he called an ‘international common ground’. These leaders helped shape a post-war artistic field whose international legacy is only now beginning to be understood.

Addressing Takiguchi’s notion of ‘world relevance’, Ming Tiampo, Associate Professor of Art History at Carleton University and co-curator of the exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, will examine the important place of post-war Japanese art in the framing of art history as a global discipline. Considering recent museum presentations of post-war Japanese art such as the Japan Foundation supported exhibitions Yayoi Kusama at the Tate Modern, Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde at The Museum of Modern Art, she will also look into the impact this globalization has had on the reception of contemporary Japanese art.

This will be a rare opportunity to hear from one of the world’s foremost experts on post-war Japanese art who was behind the scenes of one of the most successful recent post-war Japanese art exhibitions in the United States.

Date: 22 October 2013 from 6.30pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, London

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